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Dear Parents, Old Boys and Friends of Hilton

Since my last newsletter, all of our Grade 8 to 10 boys have completed their respective Outdoor leadership Exercises, our Grade 11's have given a very good account of themselves during their leadership course, the Matrics have been hard at work preparing for and writing their important Trial Examinations and we have all enjoyed a well-deserved half-term break.   I have heard numerous wonderful stories about the various OLE outings and I sincerely hope that you have also been regaled with similar stories and that everyone enjoyed and benefitted from the challenges they were faced with.  I would like to thank all the staff members who accompanied our boys on these outings for giving up their home comforts during this time and for taking such good care of the boys.

Following the half-term break, our Grade 11 boys have spent the week in Johannesburg visiting a variety of academic institutions, historical sites, museums, galleries, businesses and other places of interest.  I am told that this was a wonderful experience and that our boys were a great credit to our school wherever they went.  Once again, I would like to thank, most sincerely, all of those parents who hosted and transported our boys during this tour.  I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the six staff members who accompanied the tour and to those parents and old boys who addressed our boys or hosted them at their businesses.  Without your generous and willing help, this inspiring tour would not be able to take place.

One of the important benefits of attending a boarding school like this is that our young men learn to take greater responsibility for themselves.  In this way they become more independent and confident about solving their own problems.  Without trying to be prescriptive, I am concerned that a number of parents are unintentionally denying their sons these important learning opportunities by trying to solve their problems for them.  Please can I remind you that, as your son grows up, your parenting role changes from solving his problems for him to giving him advice on how to solve the problems for himself.   You need to avoid the temptation of trying to fix the problem before you have given him the opportunity and advice to fix it himself.  Of course, if the problem persists, you must get involved but I am aware that all too often, problems that could easily have been solved by the boys themselves are being dealt with by their parents instead.

I wish you all a good week ahead.


Peter Ducasse

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